A new growing season is nearing for Rocky Mountain Fresh nursery in Colorado, and owner Jeremy Marsh, is already looking forward to a great year. "I'm optimistic there will be ample demand for our produce to maintain a profitable business model", he says.
Rocky Mountain Fresh nursery opened its doors in 2011 and was operating from an old, barely operable 8000-square-foot greenhouse they leased. Now, some 23 years later, the nursery operates from an 86000 square feet greenhouse space.
"We grow about 30 varieties of tomatoes, ranging from cherries of all colors, cocktail tomatoes, San Marzano types, tov's, beefsteaks, and heirlooms of all colors", Jeremy says. "We also grow cucumbers, strawberries, ginger, and a variety of lettuce and greens in our greenhouses." The products find their way to farmers markets, local distributors and grocers.
Grow bags over slabs
The company has grown in coco grow bags for the past ten years and one year in coco slabs. "I prefer the bags over the slabs as they hold a bit more medium per plant and are somewhat more forgiving. This year we're using coco from FibreDust. Their bags to be slightly larger, at 5 gallons, which I like, and we were able to purchase direct from their factories in India."
The 85K sq ft greenhouse comprises of a 36000 sq. ft. greenhouse and a 50000 sq. ft. greenhouse. "We're currently replacing the cover on our larger house with a twinwall polycarbonate cover, an upgrade from the previous poly film. The light levels seem drastically improved on the completed portions, which is exciting", Jeremy says.
"Our 36000 sq. ft. greenhouse is covered with solarsoft 85 corrugated polycarbonate, with high light diffusion. It will be interesting seeing the plant performance differences between the two houses this year."
Despite challenges, including increased operating expenses and a limited labor pool, Jeremy is optimistic about the coming season. "I'm excited about the season. We have been running our current systems for several years and have returning staff from prior years."
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Rocky Mountain Fresh